Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barak Obama Comes Out Swinging

In case you missed it, MSNBC has the entire speech here. It was a thrilling speech that spoke to the heart of the frustrations that so many Americans are feeling right now.

Go Dennis Go!!!

How did my brain become so lucid and begin speaking out of Dennis Kucinich's body?

Congressman Kucinich (D)Ohio addressing the audience at the DNC

Up With Academia! Down With Superstition!

Happy Jihad's House of Pancakes

Politics. Yeah. I am Really Going There.

I have been watching what I can of the Democratic National Convention considering I don't have a television. Most of what I get comes from online videos found at various sites: YouTube, MSNBC,, etc. Last night we went to Drew's house to watch Bill Clinton and Joe Biden speak. I thought Former President Clinton knocked it out of the park and Joe Biden was appropriately aggressive. Tonight is Barak Obama's turn. According to the DNC schedule he will speak at 8pm mountain time. I recommend everyone, whether Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, Label-Adverse, whatever, tune in.

And here is why:
Love or hate the message, you will hear straight from the man himself without the filter of talking heads.
I spend time scrolling through blogs written by people I agree with and last night I watched the speeches on a news network that leans left. I know this. But when it comes to something as important as the presidential race I want to hear the real words without spin. That is why I enjoy debates.

The Republican National Convention begins on September 1st. I will also catch as much of that as I can and will make sure not to miss John McCain's speech. Not because my mind is not made up but because I want to hear him speak straight too.

I am frustrated by the 24 hour news networks endless spin and opining. Can it really be called news at this point? Because of my personal political beliefs I place Fox News squarely at the head of a poisonous pack but I hold all of them in contempt.

To fill their 24 hours of info these stations are latching on to any and every tidbit - true, false or unconfirmed, and lending them credibility. Stephanie pointed out that she has seen headlines on the online outlets of news stations highlighting info gleaned from blogs. Now I love a good political blog as much as the next person but bloggers are not (for the most part) journalists. A news story from a blogger should be on an opinion page and not a lead story. I am beginning to ramble here but I hope I am making my point.

Barak Obama has launched a website to combat the smear tactics that are first put out by fringe lunatics and then given weight when the news networks give it air time. I don't know if John McCain has, or has need of, a similar website. People of the internet, pardon my language, but that is uber-bullshit.

There is an abundance of misinformation on both sides. It is our responsibility as Americans and voters to vet out the truth. Somewhere between Fox News and MSNBC lies a kernal of reality and truth. Vote Democrat, Vote Republican, Vote Ross Perot. Do whatever is true to your conscience but do it with a wealth of reality and truth behind it.

For the record:

  • Barak Obama is NOT a muslim
  • Barak Obama did NOT attend a madrassa
  • Barak Obama is NOT the devil
  • Barak Obama is NOT Osama Bin Laden
  • Barak Obama is NOT an elitist
I wish I were being funny by overstating things but I HEAR people who really, really believe the above statements. Why is it even necessary to refute malarkey like this? How can we begin to have a political debate about the economy and foreign policy when the starting point is crap like this?

Oh, one more thing: when did being a smart and educated person who thinks things through become a liability? Why is that so often portrayed as a flaw for Obama? It makes him an elitist who had no grasp of the lives of "ordinary" Americans. Really? Isn't he an example of the American Dream gone right? And if we are talking about "ordinary" Americans, may I just say that I don't want an "ordinary' American to be President. I want an extraordinary American to be President.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Southwest Washington Fair - Food

I knew I wouldn't have room for "real" food and dessert so I skipped the "well-balanced" part of a fair food dinner and just went straight for the donut sundae (or as Kathy would say: dog nut sundae).

This is Matt's plate. For those of you who did not hear the sound of him gnawing on bones from two states away, he is no longer a vegetarian. He fell off that wagon hard. Peer pressure. That's what it is. I blame Tom and Kathy and their kitchen and barbecue magic.

The Southwest Washington Fair - Horses

There was a sort of theme in the horse barn. See if you can tell what it is:

Can You Stand One More Cat Post?

I mentioned that we saw another kitten in the yard. It hung around for a full day. I am sure that it came from the neighbors to the back of us. I went there searching for Una. There are tons of cats and I would be surprised if they are spaying or neutering any of them. They all looked to be in ill health with goobery eyes and sniffles. Matt and I briefly considered tossing the new kitten back over the property line. But, as I am sure you are already aware, we are cat lovers and could not put an animal back in that situation. We talked about taking it to the pound or rescue. But, chances for adoption before euthanasia at the pound are slim and the rescue groups are all struggling to make ends meets as it is.

We came up with a plan. Our property would be like India with a caste system. The lower caste eunuchs would live outdoors and be spayed/neutered and left to their own devices otherwise. The high caste royalty would continue to live indoors as pampered princesses and princes.

So that lasted all of 5 hours. Seems our new arrival did not get the memo. It found its way in through the pet door tout de suite and promptly lost itself in the bay. For those of you not here at the beginning of Eggtown, this is the bay:It is the dumping ground for all our belongings until we get the house built. We could hear the kitten mewing in there somewhere but couldn't find it. Eventually we tracked it down and put it back outside. Didn't work. She won't let us get near her but she is happy to live in our shadows.
Notice the pronoun shift from it to she? It gets worse. She now has a name. It happened quite by accident. Once I got a close look at her I said "ooo. she has a funny face" and that made me think of Audrey Hepburn and so her name is Audrey. With deepest apologies to our friend Audrey O'D in NYC and sweet little Audrey in Texas. The name just stuck right away. She is very cute, no?
Like Norah, Audrey has the hots for Russell. They are both obsessed with him and want to be wherever he is. What's that they say about payback? Russell is getting his comeuppance for the way he behaved around Una and Lily when we first adopted him. Anyhoo, things are balancing out. We see Audrey here and there from afar and the other cats seem to be adjusting. She is not nearly as bold as Norah and I am sure that is helping.

I know our cat population is ridiculous to many. It could be worse. If you have 20 minutes or so and are in the mood for something completely bonkers, a little bit gross and a lot disturbing, take a gander at this article in the Los Angeles Weekly about two old spinsters and their rats. Really. It will make me and Matt seem completely rational by comparison.

And finally, a little video of Russell and his catch. I must set this up a bit. I pressed record just as Norah jumped in to play scaring the beans out of Russell who was so intent on his mouse that he didn't see her coming. Una watches with disdain.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I am Still Here

I want to go on record saying that I am painfully aware how off my nut, barking mad, crazy as a loon, mad as a hatter, etc. I went during the Great Una Disappearance of 2008 earlier this week. When I am feeling normal and well balanced I KNOW that pet psychics are malarkey but panic and desperation do messed up things to a mind. So that is what I have to say on the subject.

In other news, I have been delivering mail in another office to help out while they are shorthanded so I haven't had the time or brain power to post any of the non-Una events of the week. Here are a few subjects that I will flesh out in full upcoming posts:

  • Norah is noisy when we try to sleep.
  • Norah is stinky.
  • Norah farts A LOT. Sometimes poo comes out with the fart.
  • Norah worships Russell and has decided to follow his example of peeing on the bed.
  • Saw a stray kitten in the yard this morning. Had a mixed reaction as I watched it run away: Aw, how cute plus PANIC. Where are they all coming from?
  • The work on the house went forward while I was losing my mind.
  • We went to the Southwestern WA Fair. Pics to come but you can look at last year's pics now if you want.
  • What is the "Authentic Australian Experience"? (with the subcategory: Kangaroo or Wallaby: You decide).
  • Why did some people in Castle Rock think Thursday was a federal holiday?
  • It is REALLY hot.
I will explain all and provide photo documentation for some later this week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Una - the Prologue

Here is my assessment of what may have happened (despite the "insights" from the pet psychics).

Una got pissed about Norah's existence. On top of that we took her to the vet where she got shots and has since had daily administrations of cold drops put in her ears followed by vigorous rubbing. She was mad. mad. mad. What is a cat to do? Russell peed. Una went one better and broke our hearts. We don't know where she went but she is not hurt and not too dirty or filled with burrs so it can't have been too far. Probably within earshot. I can imagine her sitting in her hidey hole listening to us yell her name until our voices broke with tears. In her warped (and well loved) little mind she probably decided to let us twist in the wind a little longer until we were really wrecked with pain and guilt at not being able to find and rescue her. She decided to sneak back while we slept as if nothing happened assuming that we had learned our lesson. But! Norah is still here and Russell and Lily had taken over the prime sleeping spots on the bed so the punishment is not over. She is directing her residual anger at me. She is lovey with Matt and will rub her face in his beard and submit to a few pets. But not me! I am her person and I am still in the "doghouse"! She won't look at me and she won't sit near me or suffer to be held and loved by me. That is OK. I can wait. She will come around. In a few years. Hopefully.

Una in the Wee Hours

Una jumped up on the bed at 4:40 this morning. She did not bother to tell us where she had been or what happened. We gave her some food and she had some water. She is grumbly and pissy. There seems to be something wrong with her right front paw but I haven't gotten a good look at it yet. No other obvious signs of injury. I am afraid to go back to sleep for fear that she will disappear again when my eyes are closed. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging messages.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It is Dark

It's hard to find a black cat at night. Matt went under the house again. He didn't find Una but he did find a nest of yellow jackets. This day is just getting worse and worse. I hope if she is alive she can find her way home because we can't find her.


It has now been 24 hours since I last saw Una. I am out of tricks. I have called until the silence of no reply cripples me. I have snooped around my neighbors outbuildings with and without permission. I have consulted not one but two pet psychics. Matt has crawled under the house with the spiders and bugs. We have searched the tree tops. I have papered the few nearby houses with Lost Cat fliers. Nothing. If she is still alive, how long can she stay alive without food and water? What if she is hurt somewhere, slowly slipping away while I am ineffectively searching? This sucks worse than anything. Ever. You may take that to mean that I have led a relatively crisis free life or you may take that to mean that Una means everything to me. I was prepared to lose her to old age. I hoped to be there with her at the end for one last nuzzle. I never expected Una to be the one to disappear into the wild without a trace.

Pet Psychic #2

Here is what the second pet psychic said:
  • Una has been in a fight, maybe with a racoon
  • Nearby to her current location is a barrel filled with liquid
  • A man nearby looks to be carrying a gun
  • There is an outdoor spray nozzle nearby
  • She is either just inside or next to a dark colored outbuilding
  • She is across a fence from our property
  • She does not think she is on the side of the property with the horses
Huh. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned that we live in the country. I pretty much gave it all away. I have just come back from prowling around the neighbors out buildings. Nothing yet. Even though I know all the pet psychic business is probably bunk it is helping me keep it together. It keeps me busy so I don't crumble.

As a side note, I think I might have found where Norah came from. One of the neighbors has hired hands living in trailers on the property. The hired hands have tons of cats. There was a kitten the same size as Norah. I asked if they had other kittens. She said yes but didn't know where they were. The poor kitten I saw had weepy eyes and a cough. Norah is doing great, gaining weight and looking healthy.

It is 1pm

Una is still missing. After a sleepless night and a fruitless search today I collapsed into a pile of tears. Tom and Walker came over to work on the house. Tom took Walker all over the property and the storage area hoping that Walker would catch Una's scent. Nothing. I feel desperate. I am ashamed to admit that I have resorted to seeking the help of animal communicators. I don't really believe in pet psychics. The first reading I had today felt totally bogus. But before I spoke to the communicator I was feeling worse than hopeless and after I spoke with her I had renewed hope that Una might be found and be found alive so it was good for something. I am now waiting to hear back from a psychic who specializes in lost pets. I am grasping at straws and spending money I don't have searching for answers in places I have no confidence. Please come home Una.

A Tiny Bit of Funny in the Clouds of Una's Disappearance

Russell makes it onto Stuff on My Cat.

Una is Missing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She wasn't here when Matt and I got home from Drew's house last night. She is always here waiting for her dinner. We looked for hours in the dark but couldn't find her. We spent the night with the door open just in case but she is still not here this morning. I am nearly puking with worry and heartsickness.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lily Was Feeling Left Out

I just got back from taking Lily to the vet. She has developed a hacking cough and stopped eating. The vet said there are two possible causes: 1. She caught something that Norah brought in when we rescued her or 2. Lily is so stressed out by Norah's arrival that she is having an episode related to rhinotrachitis (sp?) a disease she might have had as a kitten that sits dormant for years. Stress brings on flare ups. Rhinotrachitis is a relative of herpes. So, to tally up, that's ringworm, inappropriate urination, ear mites, possible kidney disease and feline herpes. 4 cats was manageable but 5 seems to have tipped the scales into near impossible.

I don't know if I mentioned but when Matt took Norah in for her checkup he also took Una in for shots and blood work. We learned that Una has earmites and wonky kidneys. So now we are medicating Norah with ointment for ringworm, Una with drops for ear mites and pills for her kidneys and now Lily with gel and liquid antibiotic for her ailments. Additionally, Norah has special kitten food, Una has new prescription food for her kidneys and Lily has prescription antioxidant food. At least Norah and Lily will be off their special meds and food someday. Una will be taking her meds and eating her pricey food until . . . (that which we will not say out loud because I cannot bear the thought.)

Hopefully Russell and Quinten can keep it together until we get the ladies under control. I am not organized enough to handle any more medications or special feedings.

Do you see any mites?
(no picture of Lily because she is in hiding while she convalesces)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Apparently it Really Does Take a Village

This weekend was set aside for putting sheathing on the roof. Uncle Bob came into town and Chuck came over on Saturday to help.

Bob at the drawing board and Tom on the ladder

Chuck sawing boards for the shear wall supports

Bob sawing pieces for the roof sheathing

Notice the eaves. They were made by Matt and Tom out of a tree that fell down at Tom's house.

West side in progress

Tom laying one of the final pieces on the west side

Halfway through

Beginning on the east side

Shot from the back showing the shear wall sheathing and the roof sheathing.

Saturday we battled rain. Nobody expected the downpour we received and so there was a mad scramble to get tarps over all the exposed roof. The Sister House still got soaked and we mopped up as best we could. Sunday there were some ominous clouds but nothing fell out of them and we made good progress. When we finish sheathing the walls I get to use the nail gun!

Not pictured village participant: Kathy who supplied lunches for the crew.

Some Bug Pictures

I took these today while we were all out working on the Sister House.


These bolts look like they would be better put to use in a shipyard than in the Sister House. They are HUGE, or as Tom would say, hurkin (sp?).

I put my finger in the photo for size reference. These are the tie downs required by the county. They are used to keep the house from blowing away in a hurricane. We put 12 of them around the perimeter of the addition. I guess there is a part of me that is comforted to know that when another one of those infamous Pacific Northwest hurricanes blows through at least some of my house will remain standing. The other part of me is annoyed at that overkill required by the county every step of the way.

Friday, August 8, 2008

In Case You Had Not Noticed

I have been quietly adding to my Family & Friends blog list and the Blogs I Like To Visit list. I would like to point out the following new adds:

  • My beautiful Sister-In-Law Kate
  • My friends from high school: Nathan, Melissa, Shantel and Bret
  • Laugh til you cry blogs: Cake Wreck and Fail Blog
  • Blog of my kindred spirit (even though she doesn't know it so it probably puts me square in the creepy stalker category): Dooce

And finally, a shoutout to Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors who listed Egg Town on his blogroll. Funny thing is he has Egg Town in the food category because the day he visited I had a drooly, slobbery post all about the wonders of Wildwood restaurant but the day he posted the Egg Town link was just about the same time I was posting about all my cat pee woes. Yum.

I Should Probably Rename This Blog "Cat Town" for A Time

Norah went to see the vet on Thursday. She has ear mites and ring worm. Yucky and a royal pain to deal with but not deadly. That is good news. The vet guesses Norah is about 2 months old. We have no way of telling where she came from or how long she had been on her own before she came to us. She is certainly not people shy.

We gave her a bath Wednesday morning because she is a stinky little thing. It is easy to bathe a kitten. Just takes a little manhandling.

She is a clever little minx. This spot on top of Matt's alarm clock serves as the stepping stone up on the the bed and the window sill for all the cats. She has cut off the access route! She is also responsible for turning off Matt's alarm. That is his story anyway.

What Russell doesn't know won't kill him. Matt took this so I don't know the circumstances but I must believe that Russell was sound asleep when Norah sneaked up next to him. Russell is REALLY, REALLY bent out of shape about this. I don't know that I will be posting much until he acclimates because I will be spending all my time doing laundry. Russell peed on the bed again this morning just as we were waking up. We caught him before he got much out and thought that just the top blanket got hit. We replaced that blanket and tried to get a few more winks. Then Norah got on the bed and must have smelled Russell's messages because she was all, "Yeah. Two can play at that game buster" and marked over his spot with her own spot. So, if any of you are planning to visit, you might want to hold off for awhile. Between the ringworm and cat urine we are the reigning household of grossness right now.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Russell Just Peed on My Pillow Right in Front of Me!!!!

Norah Fallout

Someone (probably Russell) expressed his/her displeasure with the new family member by peeing on me while I slept. Sigh. It took some time to seep through all the layers so we didn't notice anything until Norah jumped up on the bed and woke us up trying to bury the pee in the blankets. At first we thought Norah did it but there was just too much pee for such a little cat. Point taken but not conceded.

Norah was acting a little shaky yesterday afternoon so we bumped up her vet appointment from Tuesday to today.

In related news, Una is still mad as hell. She walks around grumbling to herself and anyone who will listen. If I pick her up an the wrong moment she screams and hisses. Lily? also angry. If any cat gets within 2 feet of her she yells at them and throws a punch. Interestingly, Quinten is the only one not spitting bullets. His first encounter with Norah is the only time I have ever seen him utterly confused. He didn't hiss outright like the other three and that might be the reason Norah walked straight up to him and gave him a few little head butts. I can see the wheels of his mind working, "this creature is the same size as some of my prey, and yet, I get the sense that I am not supposed to kill it" - head exploding. Now he spends his time following her around sniffing her butt. It is starting to creep her out. The cat she initially viewed as a potential ally seems more like a skeevy perv. Poor little girl. Of course we are giving her the attention we can but we can't over compensate or that will just make everything worse with the other cats. I am afraid they are all just going to have to tough it out through the adjustment period.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

People of the Internet, Meet Norah!

This morning's walk brought an unusual encounter. I was feet away from turning off the road and heading up the driveway when, even over the music from my ipod that I play well louder than the surgeon general recommends, I heard what sounded like a screeching bird. I pulled the buds out of my ears and followed the sound. I knew right off that it was coming from the ground and was sounding less and less like a bird.

There, in the ditch on the side of the road was a little kitten running toward me caterwauling at the top of its lungs. If you have been reading the blog for awhile you might have gathered that we don't really live very near anyone or anything. I got the sense that the little cat had been dumped. At the very least she (as we came to find out) had been fending for herself for a goodly portion of time. She has some nearly healed wounds, one on her lip and one on her toe. She was more burr than fur and we still haven't picked them all out yet. As of this writing she has proven herself to be fearless, almost to a fault, smart, hungry and loving. I hope when we take her to the vet everything checks out OK. Her belly is very distended (could be from near starvation), her ears are a bit scabby and I know she is full of bugs.

So, for those of you keeping track at home, Norah, as we have come to call her, makes us a five cat household.

Norah having a drink after we fed her. Russell is not OK with this. Neither is Una or Lily. I would say they are furious. I had a wee bit of hope that Norah might bring out some nurturing instinct is someone here but, no.

Norah crashed out after spending much of the day out in the Sister House with Tom and Matt. In fact, wherever Tom and loud noises were to be found, so could Norah be found. I checked to see if she could hear because I thought it was strange that she didn't flinch when the air gun was in use. She can hear. She just doesn't care.

I have a bit of video of her first few minutes in the house. The second half of the video is really too dark to see anything but that isn't really the point. I was trying to capture the sounds she was making while she ate. Such sad, mewing, grunting noises. Make sure you watch it with the sound on.

Parse This!

I see this car around Winlock frequently. To me it makes zero sense. Is there a sentence in there? Are there multiple sentences jumbled together like some sort of word puzzle? As far as I am concerned this must be about as effective as a guy wearing a straight jacket approaching a girl with the old "hey baby, what's your sign" and following that up by speaking in tongues, and snorting like a horse. I cannot imagine that anyone ever approaches the driver of this vehicle and says, "Yes. Tell me more".

By the way, I was going to use the "small town" label for this post but this stuff is also all over Los Angeles so crazy is everywhere.

My Morning Walk

Theme song for this walk: An End Has A Start by Editors

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Krazy Dayz in Chehalis

"Krazy" indeed.

FYI, I am no dance snob. I will bang my head when called upon. This band, "Splash", did not wake the dancing beast within.

A Note About the Weather

It is cold at night here. I packed away our winter comforter because, duh, it's summer. Or so I thought. Last night I slept all bundled up ruing the weak heat deliverance of the summer comforter. We have a heated mattress pad and it has been put to use a few nights this past week - last night included. IT IS AUGUST and I am heating my bed.

A Sad Little Affair

In an attempt to cash in on Chehalis' Krazy Dayz, the shuttered bowling alley next to the laundromat hosted a garage/yard sale. I was pretty stoked to have something to entertain me while fluffing and folding

Drew was with me. The first thing we saw sitting outside in a box were used beauty products. In the photo below it is difficult to see but that bottle of Lubriderm is 1/4 gone and has a sticker price of $2. Ewwww!I was interested in this duck - for maybe $3 or so. It is marked at $20 - a pair. There were no other ducks to be seen.

Does anyone know what these felt covered pieces of wood are for? They are for sale for $2.

Flares: $2 each

Easter comes early this year!

These were a steal at only $3 but they are kind of short for me would probably make my butt look fat.

Everything in this pile is a quarter. I defy you to find something in there that you would cause you to part with $0.25

And finally, what would you pay for a state of art cassette player boom box complete with am/fm radio? $30? I thought so.